Monday, November 10, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Oh, what a great book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is!  If you thought fun vampire books were SO OVER, think again!

I read some reviews when this book came out over the summer that said how great it was, but I was like, "Vampires? Nothankyou."  But, this is no Twilight, and it's no Stackhouse either.  In Holly Black's YA novel, vampires have been discovered in the human world and relegated to "Coldtowns" - ghetto-ized parts of big cities where vampires and humans are kept behind walls - a self-sustaining and self-governed area that sustains itself on webcasts and black markets.  They're dangerous and perceived as glamourous - some humans want to go there and become immortals, but are more likely to end up dead.

Tana wakes up the morning after a "Sundown party" in which all of her friends have been killed and her ex-boyfriend is "cold" - he's been bitten by a vampire and will turn into a vampire himself if he drinks human blood.  Tana saves her ex-boyfriend and a mysterious vampire named Gavriel.  Gavriel's an old vampire, and he falls in love with Tana because she saves him - the first person to ever help him.  He's dangerous and gorgeous and old-fashioned, hence, he's smokin' hot and irresistible to Tana, but, thank god there's more to their relationship than mere attraction (ahem Edward and Bella!) Black also inserts a little covert Marxism into her story.  Tana reflects on "a bunch of professors talking about monsters" on tv, "The monster is bigger than human. It represents abundance - overabundance, the white-haired man had said, pushing his glasses up higher on his nose. It has lots of eyes, extra arms, too many teeth. Everything about it is to many and too much."  I happened across this great article in the NY Times while reading the book: Dreamboat Vampires and Zombie Capitalists that helped me understand Black's not just shitting around here, I suspect she could talk some deep theory with the best.

But, whether you love Lacan or just a good old fashioned teen romance (with vampires!), this book doesn't disappoint. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a terrific read that's full of excitement, surprises and steamy kissing.

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